Evolution

Nothing irritates me more than when some (well-intentioned?) religious nut-job zealot person implies or flat-out says that infertility is part of god’s plan.  That there’s some sort of lesson to be learned from suffering, or you’re meant to adopt or live child-free.  There’s a reason I don’t believe in any kind of god who would be that sadistic just to teach you a lesson.

But what’s worse is when I consider something I do believe in: evolution.  There is not even a minuscule part of me that believes for one fraction of a second that Hubby and I are not meant to parent together.  But when I think about the fact that, evolutionarily speaking, we shouldn’t be able to have kids, my head spins.

Hubby was born with a condition (thanks to a dysfunctional pituitary gland) that left him missing out on puberty, along with any accompanying interest in girls, let alone procreation.  The treatment?  Testosterone replacement therapy, which succeeded in sterilizing him, if he had any sperm to begin with.  So when he did start showing an interest in women, procreation was still out of the question.

He is not unaware of this irony, given that he studies evolutionary theories, specifically as they relate to mating.  We both know how fortunate we are to live in a time when science and technology can assist us in family building.  Not that we’d have ever met without my husband’s TRT.

But now I’m facing another issue.  The female body has also been molded by evolution to carry and bear offspring.  it’s supposed to be a natural thing for a fit woman.  (Obviously, this raises all kinds of issues in this community.  Again, thank the universe for ART.)  We completely bypassed evolution and nature in order to get this far, and we continue to help this pregnancy along with nightly progesterone injections.  I am more than ready to let nature/evolution take over.

Not only that, but there is an evolutionary theory about maternal/baby fitness as it relates to morning sickness.  (There’s also a more widely-held theory that it has to do with keeping potentially harmful parasites away from baby.)

The fact that I’ve had almost no nausea and, when I have, it’s been fleeting at best, has me concerned.  If it’s supposed to be the result of parent-offspring conflict, what does that say about this baby?  Is she not putting up enough of a fight?  Or am I the big, fat weakling, giving into her every request for vital nutrients, even ones I may need for myself?

As ready as I am for this to feel like a “normal” pregnancy, I also worry that, without the crutch of progesterone injections, I could easily lose it.  That if this weren’t the case, I’d be throwing up–or at least fighting the urge to–like a healthy, pregnant woman.

Then again, men were supposed to have evolved to fix toilets and stuff, but guess who’s doing that at my house tonight?  Maybe evolution isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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18 thoughts on “Evolution

  1. I was 39 when I eventually got pregnant after ivf no 4. I never suffered any morning sickness, and I remember freaking out about it too, but my ds is now 4. I know it is easier said than done, but try not to worry. I started halving my progesterone intake from about 8 weeks and slowly decreased it over a period of about a week until I wasnt taking anymore, so dont worry that you are still taking progesterone.

  2. Daryl, you pose interesting questions I’ve contemplated now and during my last pregnancy. I too was convinced that ms equated to a healthier pregnancy, that p supplements were simply a crutch for my weak body to rely on etc. But regrading morning sickness I recently read a fascinating article that explained ms. I really should reblog it. It said that ms is due to a magnesium deficiency, linked to a cholesterol deficiency. In our low fat/non fatworld most women don’t get the fat OR the cholesterol they need therefore making ms worse. I think the blog was on mommypatomus or something. Anyway, my point is that there are other theories that trascend the “healthy pregnancy one.” Besides my dear friend who is now in her 28th week has been completely nausea free this entire time. Her baby passed all his tests, chromosomes etc., with flying colors! That aside, I know your worries well, since my own nausea has been sporadic. That magnesium article did put my mind at ease a little for sure, as do all the boards that claim it’s an old wives tale.

  3. Ok, here’s my 2 cents, regarding the evolution/god’s plan stuff about not being meant to have kids: (ahem)

    First of all, I find it incredibly hubristic that people claim to know and interpret god’s plan. Just astonishing arrogance. I’ve had lots of people say this to me, and it pisses me the fuck off. To calm myself, I always think of that Susan B. Anthony quote: “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” Yep. Pretty much.

    The idea of nature or evolution’s role is similar to the idea of “god’s plan.” When people say (and yes, they’ve said this to me as well) that if you cannot have a child “naturally,” then “nature” is telling you that you shouldn’t biologically reproduce, I generally sputter with rage for a while, and go fume to myself, but invariably don’t say what I would LIKE to, which is:

    Why do we not view ART as just another step in human evolution? Why are things like glasses and chemotherapy OK to use, but various forms of ART usurp the natural order of things? Fuck that. Why do we not still allow women to die during childbirth, and babies to die due to “failure to thrive”?

    It’s straight up selfish, because the people who’ve said these things to me have invariably never needed ART. If we hadn’t evolved to develop glasses and chemotherapy, we’d all be sitting around blind as bats, riddled with tumors and dying by the age of 30. But hey, we might not even be here in the first place because we might have died as babies! Sign me up for some of that!

    Second (and finally, phew!), regarding nausea: there are plenty of women in “normal” pregnancies (easily achieved with no ART) that do not experience nausea or the other potential side effects of early pregnancy. And then there are women that throw up all the time, only to miscarry. The only evidence I’ve seen of a connection between nausea and a healthy pregnancy is anecdotal. I know it can be scary when you feel like you have no proof that things are happening, but try to remember that nausea is not proof that things are going well either.

    Love and luck to you, Daryl. Be well.

    (and thanks for letting me write a freaking novel in your comments section and get all ranty this morning)

    • Rant away! I also think of medical technology (as well as all other kinds of technology) as a kind of evolution–even though my husband would argue it’s not, in the very strictest sense. Like I said, I’m grateful this technology is available to us. I try to let other people’s opinions on the subject go without argument, as I know I’m not likely to change their minds. But when I think to myself that just a few decades ago, we never would have gotten this far, I’m kind of blown away.

  4. I too worried when I didn’t have morning sickness (especially hearing how one friend had it all day and all pregnancy). I ended up with a very healthy boy who was 8 days past EDD. Once I started looking at my own pregnancy and trying not to compare it to others, I realized I had my own sort of pregnancy symptoms. (I did and have for ages taken magnesium… and don’t worry about what I eat.)

  5. I was so scared to stop progesterone with my last pregnancy (I was on suppositories and stopped at about 13ish weeks). I was taking 3 200 mg pills per day and tapered off about 13 weeks and a few days later had some spotting. Luckily everything was fine and he’s 10 months old now. It’s hard to let go of that crutch!
    I also had a TON of nausea with my first and very little with my second. I never really thought to worry about that! I guess I was ecstatic not to be sick all the time!

  6. I still take Zofran at 33 weeks for “morning sickness”. I’ve had so many women say to me “oh, I was never sick when I was pregnant!”. I kind of hate them for a second for that lol. Maybe you’re just one of those lucky *beeps* lol.

    Your post is very deep, but honestly I go to the environment messing us up. We are not weird or strange malfunctioning humanoids. I believe that as time passes more and more people are infertile and it’s because of the environment, chemicals, and nasty processing of our foods. It’s a wrench in the evolution plan. I heard on tv the number of infertile couples is decreasing. I want to ask if it’s because of our new addiction (rightfully so) of organic food and products. Could be.

  7. Thank you for sharing this. I have often thought about evolution in all of this. I will be evolved out of the species because of my POF. Its actually pretty weird to think about. I have a hard time writing about that, so I appreciate you sharing yoru thoughts

  8. I’m sure to hear that you are jaded from someone who obviously conveyed this message to you. Infertility is in fact not God’s plan, but the nature of this broken world. However, of course, there are good things that can come out of it!

  9. I have thought about all of this evolutionary stuff, too. ‘If we had such a hard time procreating, should we be’ kind of thing. It’s a weird/cruel thing to think about, really. But then I think, genetic mutations that contribute to things that kill you (e.g., BRCA1 and ovarian cancer) are still passed on all of the time. Just because we struggle with producing children doesn’t mean that we have something wrong with us that we shouldn’t be passing on. Often the genes that result in fewer offspring have to do with things that kill you quickly before you’re able to reproduce or with social comportment that makes you unlikely to be mated with others. Anyway, I still have very little nausea, too, if it makes you feel any better, and my twins are alive and kicking (or flailing). It picked up a little right around 8 weeks, but it’s still incredibly minimal and comes in and out (mostly out).

  10. I wouldn’t worry at all about not having morning sickness. Embrace it! After suffering through awful ms for nearly 18 weeks and talking to other women, I almost feel like the minority of women are nauseous yet we are supposed to believe that all pregnant women should be nauseous. I think about 80% of mothers I know or have met since getting pregnant didn’t have morning sickness and the ones who did have it didn’t seem to have it as bad as me (or maybe they just forgot how bad it was?). I honestly think the old wives tale that pregnancies are healthier when you have ms is just out there to make us feel better about it. Just like telling a bride that rain on your wedding day is lucky.

  11. Oh, I absolutely agree about the evolution stuff. Pisses me off to no end. As for the ms, give yourself some time. At 7 weeks I had NO nausea. None. At 7.5 weeks it hit like a ton of bricks, and I’ve felt shitty ever since. You may just be a late starter. 😉 Hoping, of course, that you avoid it altogether. It’s hard not to worry during this first trimester. Sending you love and hugs.

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